The WonkLine: October 26, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 a.m. roundup of the latest public policy news. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.



Referring to immigration reform, President Obama told Latino voters: “If the Latino community decides to sit out this election, then there will be fewer votes and it will be less likely to get done.”

Latino voters are showing far more enthusiasm about the midterm elections than they were in early September with almost 60 percent of Latino voters saying they are “very enthusiastic” about voting, up from 41 percent in Sept.

Two of the three judges assigned to Arizona’s appeal of the injunction against SB-1070, which is to be argued on Monday, are Latino: Richard Paez and Carlos Bea.


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said yesterday that they have suspended all activity on foreclosure cases that had been referred to David Stern, a Florida attorney who is under investigation by state officials for running a “foreclosure mill.”

FDIC Chair Sheila Bair said yesterday “that federal officials should have recognized ‘warning signs’ in recent years that the mortgage industry was cutting corners in the foreclosure process.”

U.S. and South Korean officials will meet today in an attempt to resolve differences over the stalled trade agreement between the two countries.

Health Care

“Altering payment mechanisms and care delivery structures aren’t enough to achieve a successful accountable care organization, according to a new report examining ACO experiences in California.”

“As emotions run high over the law, anger and fear about its impact on Medicare — whether founded or not — could be a deciding factor in some particularly close congressional races, especially in areas where there are large numbers of seniors, say political analysts.”

“A requirement that insurers summarize their health plans in a short brochure has led to a drawn-out clash between industry and consumer advocates over how to best define health insurance benefits.”

National Security

“Breaking with many other leaders in his party, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) warned against a government shutdown in a debate on Sunday, saying it would endanger U.S. troops,” the Huffington Post reports.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged yesterday “that he regularly receives bags of cash from the Iranian government in payments amounting to millions of dollars.”

“The youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay pleaded guilty to war crimes, including murder, on Monday, part of an agreement with prosecutors that allows the Obama administration to avoid a trial that threatened to undermine its use of military commissions.”


Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantamo Bay, pled guilty to war crimes as part of a deal that will return him to his native Canada to serve a seven year prison sentence.

Will right-wingers demand that the two Latino judges assigned to hear a challenge to Arizona’s draconian immigration law recuse themselves — just like they thought a gay judge cannot hear a marriage equality case?

You wouldn’t like Clarence Thomas when he’s sober. Neither do we.


“As funding for higher education continues to shrink in some states, more community colleges are considering charging differential tuition rates for their costly career and technology programs,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

How will the D.C. teachers union elections affect outgoing Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s initiatives?

Can California’s next governor get the state out of its education mess?

Climate Change

#Chiclone: A cyclonic storm of historic proportions is blowing through the Midwest from Michigan to Texas, spinning off tornadoes, gusting winds, and severe thunderstorms.

The historic heat wave and ensuing wildfires in Russia killed nearly 56,000 people this summer, the Russian government reports.

PolitiFact rebukes Robert Hurt for running “false” “jobs in China” ads attacking Tom Perriello his support of clean energy jobs, an attack also made in National Republican Campaign Committee ads running in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Colorado, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Oregon, Michigan and Minnesota.

LGBT Equality

“The Obama administration is launching a campaign to prevent anti-gay bullying and other harassment at school, advising educators that federal law protects students from many forms of discrimination.”

“During an exclusive interview with Politics Daily Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) discussed his opposition to the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military, arguing that some people use the law to work the system.”

“Colorado-based abstinence education group WAIT Training has received more than $8.3 million in federal funding since 2005, despite having several brushes with political controversy.”